Rob, you’re well known as one of the greatest heavy metal vocalists of all time. Do you remember when was the first time you unleashed that voice and realized you had something different then everyone else?
Glenn: That’s a good questions, I always wondered that.
Rob: I don’t know, I think it just happens automatically. I think you’re so moved by the music around you in a band that you just unleash it. That is a really cool question. I don’t remember the exact time. A lot of it comes out of the writing and recording process. When you start recording extra things start to happen, I don’t know what it is. When the red light goes on I think you subliminally are aware that your capturing something that’s going to be around for a lot longer then you are. You just go the extra mile when you’re laying down tracks and extraordinary things can happen. Something flicks on inside you like a switch and you just pour out a little bit more of intensity then you would if you were just jamming or rehearsing.
If I listen to some of the notes on “Run Of The Mill” on the Rocka Rolla album, which is 40 years strong this year, there’s no way I can do those notes now. That’s youth. The wonderful thing about the human voice is that obviously as you get older it matures and it changes shape and you can’t put different strings on. So you’re kind of living with the instrument as you get older but now it’s just a sense of adventure and again, just jumping back to that previous question, I’m sure that my listening to all of the other extraordinary vocal talents that I was drawn to probably enabled me to think in a bigger way. Am I going to sing in one key or am I going to stay in one tone or register, or just let it wail, I’ve got to say the blues is responsible for that and particularly somebody like Janis Joplin. Listen to what she was doing and straight after Janis people like Plant came and went to the extreme of their vocal abilities.
As you said, your debut album Rocka Rolla came out in 1974, 40 years ago this September. What advice would you give to the Judas Priest of 1974?
Glenn: Don’t change a thing.
Rob: That’s brilliant. Don’t change a thing.
Glenn: We’ve had the best years of our life in this band. What’s better then to travel the world playing songs that you love? And the hardships we went through all build character and they bring you closer together, and we did go through a few hardships, but every band does and you have to live and learn from them. I wouldn’t change anything.